You have to give state superintendent Mike Sentance credit for one thing–when he starts throwing bombs, he doesn’t care who is getting hit.

Late Thursday night word got out that Sentance has now taken aim at career tech education and will unveil a new state department organization play Friday that de-emphasises career tech education.  And again, it seems the state board of education has not been told of these plans or had discussion about them.

The Alabama Association for Career & Technical Education sent the following email to thousands of people in the career tech network:

“Our office learned late last night that the Office of Career and Technical Education and Workforce Development will be abolished by new superintendent Michael Sentance. Sentance is scheduled to meet with ALSDE staff today at 1:00 p.m. to announce his reorganization of the department that includes placing the Office of Career and Technical Education and Workforce Development under Curriculum which will eliminate the need for a state CTE Director (Dr. Philip Cleveland) and it appears a separate Office of CTE/Workforce Development Division at the state Department of Education.

This move by Sentance removes Dr. Cleveland as the Assistant Deputy Superintendent of Education for CTE and Workforce Development. (Editor’s note:  Cleveland has resigned effective July 3, 2017.)

This action needs to be rescinded and the only resignation needed is one from Michael Sentance who never should have been interviewed for his position–much less appointed state superintendent. Mr. Sentance has said that Alabama is leading the nation in CTE. Why is he trying to cripple our progress now? How is placing CTE under Curriculum going to help CTE? We need to strongly express the importance that CTE and Workforce Development remain independent (within ALSDE) and have a leader like Philip Cleveland that understands both education and workforce development.

It is our understanding that Sentance did not discuss his plan to abolish the Office of Career and Technical Education within the ALSDE with members of the State Board of Education. He needs to be STOPPED immediately before he destroys all the hard work  to make CTE a part of our educational system instead of an alternative.”

Again, the state superintendent works for the state board of education, though he apparently does not understand this, and ultimately they are responsible for his actions.. Their refusal to take control of the department is baffling to say the least.